15 minutes of fame not enough for Knutty 2s
The team as a whole however was much changed from the previous match, a victory versus Oswestry, with four youngsters called up late to the 1st XV and star-man Adam Kelly away enjoying his new career as a professional ski lift tester.
The first 15 mins went to plan for Knutsford as they sort to circumvent the size difference between the packs. They spread the ball wide where ever possible and took advantage of poor organisation by Didsbury. They traded tries with Didsbury to go into a 15-14 lead. 17 year old Nick Clawson, who had his opposite number in his pocket all day long, followed up a kick well to score the first. Ewen MacDonald then rounded off an excellent run around move by the Knutsford mid-field which showed how the Knutsford backs were capable of scoring from well within their own half given good fast ball.
Veteran no 9 Stevie McGuiness benefited from the quick thinking of MacDonald and young Bobbie Hamilton from a 22 drop out which turned defence into attack in an instant for McGuiness to crash over in the corner. Although Knutsford went into half time 15-14 up, they should have been further infront, however inaccurate goal kicking gave away 12 points. This meant that they turned around to play up hill with only a one-point lead.
In the 2nd half the fast ball that had allowed Knutsford to profit in the 1st 15 mins had well and truly dried up. Their own set pieces became sloppy and any clean ball from scrums and lineouts stopped. The bigger Didsbury pack and midfield began to make stronger and stronger runs and won most of the ball at the breakdown. Didsbury began to rack up the tries as Knutsford were edged out of the contest. As the game neared the finale Didsbury began to give away silly penalties. From one of these the quick thinking McGuiness sort to take advantage of Didsbury’s disorganisation with a quick tap.
His progress was halted as the Didsbury hooker stuck out his arm to clothes-line McGuiness. Luckily for Knutsford McGuiness’s vaudeville training kicked in as he took the hit with cane-twirling chaplinesque style. All that was that missing was the comedy ‘BOOOIINNGG!’. The Didsbury hooker, apparently more used to being involved with their first XV, was on his way off the pitch and had to be called back to be issued his red card (to go with the yellow he’d recieved in the first half!). He left for the second time in true pantomine villain style to a ripple of applause as his team mates looked on in amazement.
All in all the start made by Knutsford, in spite of the massive team changes, showed just what this team can do. However they must learn to sustain that effort for 80 minutes no matter who lines up in the XV. Man of the match went to 2nd XV regular Greg Sawyer who stepped in on Saturday morning to ref the game having recently gained his officiating qualifications. Consistency of performance for Knutsford will surely come from consistency of personel and more commitment to train on a regular basis.
Next week Crewe and Nantwich 3rds at home. KO 2.15.